Blog Posts


Three out of three Clinicians Agree, Vista Medical Center East is THE Place to Practice Medicine!

Posted on Thu, Feb 05, 2015
Three out of three Clinicians Agree, Vista Medical Center East is THE Place to Practice Medicine!

Vista Health System is a community healthcare provider, a network that includes two hospitals in Waukegan — Vista Medical Center East and Vista Medical Center West, as well as the Vista Lindenhurst campus that includes an Ambulatory Care Center, a Surgery Center and a freestanding emergency center.  There are 192 beds at Vista East with Hospitalists at the East campus.

Here are 5 reasons to practice at Vista Medical Center:

  1. Vista East is ranked 34 out of 219 hospitals in Illinois and 29 out of 118 hospitals in the Chicago Metro area
  2. Cerner EMR with 36 hours of scribe coverage fully funded by EmCare
  3. 20 hours of APP coverage daily:  9a-7p/5p-3a
  4. Waukegan is located in northern Illinois, just a short distance away from the city of Chicago, within view of Lake Michigan
  5. Chicago is home to The Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, Millennium Park and The Art Institute of Chicago

Here's what three Vista clinicians have to say about the facility!

Get to Know Our November Clinician of the Month: Dr. Rebecca Parker


In Case You Missed It: Jan. 23, 2015

Posted on Fri, Jan 23, 2015

Here's your weekly roundup of popular healthcare headlines you may have missed from across the web.



Whitepaper: Optimizing Patient Flow in the E.D.

Posted on Wed, Nov 26, 2014
Whitepaper: Optimizing Patient Flow in the E.D.

It’s said that the larger the ED, the more time a patient will spend there. Unfortunately, patients do not perceive that as a good thing. You may have a great ED, have great people, give great treatment; but the fact of the matter is, the longer the stay in the ER, the worse the patient’s satisfaction scores. 

So, how do you get a handle on flow? 

Read this whitepaper to find out.



Studer Spotlight: Connecting with Patients While Using Electronic Health Records

Posted on Tue, Nov 25, 2014
Studer Spotlight: Connecting with Patients While Using Electronic Health Records

Since 2010, EmCare has maintained a strong partnership with Studer Group to improve clinical and operational results for our client hospitals. As a result of this partnership, Studer Group has provided access to exclusive content only available on Each month, one of Studer Group's insightful articles will be made available to blog readers. For more information about EmCare's partnership with Studer Group, click here. For more exclusive content, including webinars, learning labs, networking opportunities and more, visit

By: Barbara Roehl, MD, MBA

There’s no substitute for “connecting” with the patient. Effective communication and demonstrating empathy is a critical component to quality patient care. New technologies such as Electronic Health Records (EHRs) can seem like a barrier for physicians and providers looking to build a connection.

According to a New England Journal of Medicine article (Wolpaw, MD, D.R., Shapiro, Ph.D. D; N Engl J Med 2014; The Virtues of Irrelevance 370:1283-1285, April 3, 2014, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1315661), personalized opening comments, “convey that we see patients as unique”, “reveal that we have shared experiences”, “are observant and attending to details”, and “indicate that we are open to a conversation.” All of these help to put the patient at ease and establish a therapeutic relationship.

As healthcare is getting even faster paced, and with an increased focus on productivity and utilization of EHR’s becoming the norm, how can we maintain the “connection” in our encounters with patients? As a practicing physician, I personally have been through two EHR implementations in the ambulatory setting, and currently planning for a third (one in inpatient setting and heading for a second), here are a few tips and tricks that can make a big impact:

Briefly review the chart prior to entering the room so the beginning of the encounter isn’t dominated by staring at a screen while rifling through the EHR to find basic information. Be clear on basics of their care, including last visit and needs for this one (prescriptions, referrals, etc.). Make sure the patient’s first and last name are known. If a note was made during the last visit of something special in their life, such as a birthday, wedding, or vacation, ask briefly about it. Patients will be more forgiving when we document in the computer if we’ve already made them feel we’re interested and listening.
Don’t forget your AIDET®.

An important part of AIDET® is the “A” for Acknowledge. This step helps us make a connection to patient. In addition to eye contact, smiling, addressing by name, sitting down, and shaking hands, opening the encounter with a personalized, genuine statement can help make a connection that will make the rest of the encounter more collaborative and satisfying. It can also make the patient more tolerant when we use EHRs.

Include EHR as part of the “Acknowledge” step. State why we use it and how it helps in patient care. Specifically indicate that we will periodically turn to EHR to capture important points for the patient’s shared care plan. When we aren’t documenting in EHR, it’s important to have good eye contact. When we do turn to use EHR, be sure to indicate what you are doing. For example, “Just let me capture that important information”, “Just a moment while I include that in your treatment plan”. Use whatever verbiage and phrasing that feels comfortable while acknowledging the transition to and from the computer.

Don’t forget the “T” in AIDET®: Thank You. Thank the patient for visiting us and close warmly. Don’t let documenting on the computer get in the way of a gracious end to the encounter, complete with eye contact, a hand shake, smile and genuine pleasantry.

Manage up the EHR (or at least don’t manage it down), just as we manage up the rest of the care team. This helps to create overall confidence in the care provided. 

A great way to engage patients with the EHR is through the use of graphics and visuals. For well child visits, try showing the growth curve. For chronic disease, show trending graphs for blood pressure, weight, A1Cs, or lipids. This is an excellent opportunity to be transparent with our patients and provide detailed explanations that patients appreciate.

Pay attention to body position in relation to the patient and computer. Is the physical layout of the office conducive so we can sit, talk, and document the encounter with an unobtrusive computer set-up, facing the patient? If not, think about rearranging the room. Consider seating the patient at your EHR station with proximity to both you and the monitor.

Try utilizing a scribe during patient visits. This allows providers to remain solely focused on the patient while the scribe captures plan of care notes in the EHR. Make sure that you inform the patient of the scribes name and role.

As we move into a more electronic age, let’s not lose the connection to purpose and connection to patients. It doesn’t need to add significant time to a visit and can make a big impact. When we connect, the patient feels it, and so do we. It’s equally as good for the patient as it is for the physician. Happier patients lead to happier doctors. It connects to purpose, worthwhile work and why we got into healthcare in the first place. Connecting adds purpose and meaning, for both patient and doctor.

Additional Resources:

Gain additional tools, tips and perspective during the Physician Partnership tracks at Studer Conferences
Download the AIDET® Guidelines and Key Words document to gain tips for physicians and providers implementing AIDET®.


Clinical Hot Topics: ED 4.0

Posted on Wed, Nov 05, 2014
Clinical Hot Topics: ED 4.0

Hosted by Al Sacchetti, MD, FACEP as moderator, Don’t Blink or You Will Miss It - Clinical Hot Topics can feel much like the “speed dating” of training presentations. The 12 hyper-paced presentations covered a wealth of information for the 2014 EmCare Leadership Conference attendees.  Each week, we’ll publish highlights from select clinical hot topics presented at the conference.

ED 4.0
by William Jaquis, M.D.

Only about 50 years ago, an emergency room was any room where care was being provided for an urgent or acute condition. The “room” is now a “department” often serving more than 80,000 patients a year. The emergency department (ED) functions as the “hub of the enterprise” with many “spheres of influence” and accountability. The diagram shown here illustrates some of the many roles the ED plays. It has become a focal point for coordinating care, collaborating, planning and above all improving outcomes.

Successful ED leaders will master the art of managing the scope of this crucial department while balancing growing demands and decreasing revenues.

Read the whitepaper below to learn how a shift in processes, leadership and culture to an integrated solution can put your hospital on track to achieve improved clinical outcomes, metrics and patient experiences, each of which can have a potentially dramatic financial impact.


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